When it comes to free internet radio, there are many services to choose from, but very few give you access to music playlists like 8 tracks. Touting themselves as handcrafted internet radio, 8tracks.com offers user generated music playlists of 8 tracks or more (hence the name). Their aim is to cultivate the art of the music playlist. It’s the “mix-tape” for the digital era.
Free and very easy to use, 8 tracks is nice to listen to because it has no audible advertising, making it easy to get your groove on. You can search for playlists by artist or by tag. A tag is a descriptive word used to categorize playlists. Tags include items like: rock, pop, love, alternative, study, party, etc.
Once you find mixes that you like, you can bookmark the playlist by pressing the like button. This will save into a queue that you can revisit, so you can listen to your favorite playlists whenever you want. You should explore the other playlists the user has created, because you will often find other mixes that you like from the same user.
Discovering new music that you love is one of the wonderful side effects of handcrafted internet radio. 8 tracks also gives you the option to favorite individual tracks within playlists, so that you can revisit them later. Unfortunately, at this time you can only listen to a 30-second snippet of the songs in your favorites, but the list is kind of useful for remembering the names of the artists and songs that you liked.
Outside of the online service, you may listen to 8 tracks on your mobile phone. They have free Android and iPhone apps, which operate similarly to the actual website.
There are some limitations of the service. You only have limited skips per mix (2 or 3 total). Also, once you listen to a mix more than once, the playlist gets shuffled. This happens each time you listen.
However, there is one big warning about the service. Many times the pictures accompanying the mix are risqué or sexual in nature. They may not always be safe for work, or when children are around. However, this can be overcome by either minimizing the window, or by putting another program in front of the webpage.
Overall, 8tracks.com is a fun, innovative handpicked internet music website that allows you to listen to a wide range of music, and track the songs and mixes that you like. Even better, it’s free.
JulieStrier (author) from Apopka, FL on July 22, 2013:
Good tip about the Safe for Work setting. They may not have had that when I originally wrote this article. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the tip!
steinbergr from Israel on July 22, 2013:
I love 8 tracks, I listen to playlists there all the time and find it to be the best because they are also available outside the US unlike Pandora and Spotify.
Also about your last paragraph, I'm not sure if this is a new feature but they now have a safe for work setting that can be turned on and off. Not sure if it only relates to the content of the playlist or to the image as well... will have to do a little research.
Eranofu from Europe on December 17, 2011:
Thank you sooo much for the advice to link them together. :))))))
JulieStrier (author) from Apopka, FL on December 16, 2011:
You're welcome. Last.fm is a wonderful site to play on too. In fact, you can scrobble the songs you listen to on 8tracks, so your tastes show up in your last.fm account. Linking the two accounts is easy!
Eranofu from Europe on December 16, 2011:
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! (Happy cat ^^--!)
Thanks for sharing this. Now I'm excited to make my own playlists.
You might like last.fm to create your music libraries if you don't know that one yet. :)